Repetition by Rebecca Reilly
Four Way Books, 2015
Reilly investigates grief and its reverberations in her debut, a book-length essay of lyric prose written in the fracture caused by her father’s death. Early on, the book’s logic establishes a few focal points: the architecture of Berlin, Paris, and New York; the conflicts within her family; the acquiring and translation of language; the work of Gertrude Stein, Paul Celan, and Søren Kierkegaard, among others; and images of the sky and birds. As the threads of the essay meet at and diverge from these points, Reilly produces a deeply affecting beauty, an aesthetic wrench that works the intellect as much as the heart.